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2. As he is thy God;' for his relative goodness to his church and people.
In the first respect, it implies an adoring of his excellencies. Praise him for his excellent greatness;' (Psalm cl. 2) an extolling of his great name, an acknowledging of his absolute sovereignty over us, and surpassing dignity above us, and accordingly abasing ourselves in his presence. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee; therefore, I abhor myself.' Job xlii. 5) "Woe is me, I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and 1 dwell amongst a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." (Isai. vi. 5) This is that which our Saviour maketh the principal and first petition in prayer, "Sanctified be thy name;" that is, "Be thou thyself, in all the ways whereby thou makest thyself known, glorified by us." To sanctify, is to separate and single out unto some peculiar appropriated honour. So Israel is said to be a people holy to the Lord;' separated as a peculiar people from all others, to know and to serve him. "Ye shall be holy; I have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine." (Lev. xx. 26) "This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise ;” (Isa. xliii. 21) άysov and xovo are opposed to one another; that which is common, is unclean; that which is holy, is separated and reserved unto special use. (Acts x. 14, 15)
To sanctify, then, the Lord, and to make him our fear (as he is called the fear of Isaac,' Gen. xxxi. 42) is to acknowledge his infinite, peerless, surpassing, and unparalleled excellencies and preeminence, and to serve him with a peculiar and incommunicated worship, to exalt his glorious name, above all blessing, and above all praise, as being Lord alone; (Neh. ix. 5, 6) as being God above all; (1 Chron. xxix. 11) higher than the highest, (Eccles. v. 8) there being none holy besides him. (1 Sam. ii. 2) He is God alone: among the gods there is none like him. (Psalm lxviii. 8, 10) He is exalted far above all gods. (Psalm xcvii. 9) "Who is a God like unto our God?" (Mic. vii. 18. Exod. xv. 11) "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy." (Rev. xv. 4)
In the next respect, it implies, 1. A rejoicing in him as our only good. "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous, for
praise is comely for the upright." (Psalm xxxiii. 1) So the prophet concludeth his triumphal song: "Although the figtree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation,” Hab. iii. 17, 18.
2. A preferring him in our estimation infinitely above all, as our sovereign and principal end; living, dying, thinking, speaking, working, walking, so as that he may be glorified in us and by us. (Rom. xiv. 7, 8)
3. An acknowledging unto him his free and rich grace, in all those manifold mercies, and precious promises, wherewith he hath blessed us in his beloved, who are less than the least of all the goodness and truth, which he hath shewed unto us. For "it is of the Lord's mercies alone, that we are not consumed." An humble sense of our own misdeservings and utter unworthiness, is essential unto this duty of praising God. The Pharisee's thanksgiving had a contradiction in it; 66 God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men, or as this publican."-Pride and praise are inconsistent: whosoever arrogates to himself, derogates from God. "Not unto us, not us, but unto thy name:" we cannot give glory to God, till we disown it ourselves. (Psalm cxv. 1) When the apostle begins and concludes with thanksgiving, he doth not only recount God's mercy, but his own unworthiness; "I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, injurious, ignorant, unbelieving, the chief of sinners; I thank Christ Jesus our Lord; unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory." (1 Tim. i. 12—17)
4. Invocation of his name, and dependence upon his grace, as the only fountain of all our comforts. "Sing, shout, publish ye, praise ye, and say, Lord save thy people." (Jer. xxxi. 7) As prayer makes way for praises, when our petitions are answered,-" Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will hear thee, and thou shalt glorify me;" (Psalm 1. 15) so praises for mercies past, do encourage and enlarge the heart to wait upon God, for the supply of our pre
h Μεμνημένος γὰρ τῆς ἰδίας παρὰ πάντα οὐδενείας, μεμνήσῃ καὶ τῆς τοῦ Deoû ward wavтa úwegboλñs. Phil. de Sacrif. Abel et Cain.-Vid. Bernard. in Cant. Ser. 13.
sent wants. He hath delivered; he doth deliver; therefore we must trust, that he will yet deliver. (2 Cor. i. 10)
Lastly, obedience to his commands, when the sense of his sovereign authority over us, as the Lord, and of his special grace unto us, as our God, doth engage our hearts to glorify him in a holy conversation: for herein is God honoured, when his servants do bring forth much fruit.' (John xv. 8) Hereby we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: and, by our good works, do cause enemies themselves to glorify God, as being ashamed to accuse their good conversation. (1 Pet. ii. 12, 15, and iii. 15, 16) Justin Martyr professed, That the constancy of the Christian martyrs, was the means whereby he was converted to Christ
We see the duty, and the title upon which it is due; the Lord, for his excellencies in himself; thy God, for his goodness unto thee. Let us next consider the subject, from whom it is due, Jerusalem and Sion. God made all things for himself, and will have the glory due unto his name from all his creatures; (Prov. xvi. 4) all things are of him, and therefore all things are to him. (Rom. xi. 36) But there are three different ways, whereby this glory cometh unto him from his creatures.
1. Per modum providentiæ,' in the way of general providence; when the motions', order, influences, beauty, glorious contexture, and admirable co-operation and concurrence of all creatures, unto some excellent àπoréλeσμa, or consummate issue, do shew forth the wisdom, power, and goodness of that Supreme moderator, who leadeth such variety of agents unto one end, as the artificer tempereth many colours unto the setting forth of one beautiful table. And thus heaven, earth, sea, snow, ice, hail, birds, beasts, are said to glorify and praise the Lord. (Psalm xix. 1, 2, and cxlviii. iii. 10)
2. Per modum justitiæ,' in a way of judgement and severity; when the Lord, by the power of his justice, doth fetch glory out of wicked angels and men, and doth compulsorily drive them unto those ends which they never intended: as the smith by his furnace and hammer worketh
Clem. Aler. Strom. 1. 7.
i Μία ἀμοιβὴ κυριοτάτη παρὰ ἀνθρώπων, ταῦτα δρᾷν, ἅπερ ἀρεστὰ τῷ θεῷ. k Apolog. 1. 1 Αἰνεῖ αὐτὸν ἡ κτίσις τῷ κάλλει, τῇ θέσει, τῷ μεγέθει, τῇ φύσει, τῇ χρήσει, τῇ διακονίᾳ, τῇ διαμονῇ, tô Avoireλeiq ¿§ aûtŵv yivoμévn. &c. Chrysost. in Psalm. 148.
iron into those shapes, unto which it could never have reduced itself. And thus they, whose whole study it is to dishonour God, when they fly out of the order of his precepts, do fall under the order of his providence, and are made, by their perdition, to bring glory unto him. "For this purpose," saith the Lord unto Pharaoh, "have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth." (Rom. ix. 17) And so the strong enemies of God, who had been a terror unto his people, are said to glorify him, when they are reduced to heaps and ruin, never to be built again. (Isa. xxv. 2, 3) The Lord in the thing, wherein they dealt proudly, shewing himself to be above them. (Erod. xviii. 11)
3. Per modum obedientiæ,' in a way of obedience; when a creature doth voluntarily, actively, intentionally, set itself to bring glory unto God; and knowing the end unto which God hath ordained it to work, (Eph. ii. 10) doth accordingly apply itself to conform unto the will of God therein. And thus none can indeed praise God, but Jerusalem and Sion : his name is no where so great as in Israel, (Psalm lxxvi. 1) whether we respect his own manifestations of himself in his word and gracious covenant; (which he hath magnified above all his name,' Psalm cxxxviii. 2, and which he hath shewed unto his church, and not unto others, Psalm cxlviii. 19, 20) or his people's cheerful adoration of him, and trust in him, according to the tenour of that word: and thus they who are called by God's name, are, in a special manner, said to be created for his glory. (Isai. xliii. 7)
God hath done most for them: taken them nearest unto himself; (Deut. iv. 7) set them apart, and fitted them for his own use; (Psalm iv. 3. 2 Tim. ii. 21) most notably revealed himself, and the secrets of his love unto them. (Matth. xi. 25. Psalm xxv. 14. John xiv. 21) They are most able to praise him, because they have his special and peculiar favour, called the favour of his people.' (Psalm cvi. 4) He is their own: and property enlargeth praise. Praise is the language of heaven, best becomes those who have been partakers of a heavenly calling. (Heb. iii. 1) "Excellent speech is not comely in the mouth of fools;" (Prov. xvii. 7) but "praise is comely for the upright." (Psalm xxxiii. 1) None can praise God in the pit; the living, the living, he shall
praise thee. (Isai. xxxviii. 19) No wicked man, m how specious or plausible soever his professions may be, is either so awed by the greatness, or affected with the goodness of God, as to sanctify the lord in his heart, or to glorify him in his life: his words are fair, his conscience is foul; his pretences are gaudy and flourishing, but his affections are crooked and perverse as if a cook should poison his lord's dinner, and, in the mean time, should garnish the dishes with painted or gilded vanities. If we cannot call God our God; if we have not, by faith and hope, an interest in his covenant and special mercies; if we be not, by his love shed abroad in our hearts, conformed to his will and ways; flatter him peradventure we may, but glorify him we cannot. He that ordereth his conversation aright, is the man that offereth praise, and glorifieth God. (Psalm 1. 23)
There is one special thing more to be noted concerning this duty, and that is the ingemination, Praise, pruise. teacheth us
First, The natural sluggishness and indisposition which is in us, unto this duty. Want will make us importunate to obtain good things;" but when our wants are supplied, how few are there who think of returning praises unto God! All the ten lepers were clamorous for mercy; but there was but one of them, and he a stranger, that returned glory to God. (Luke xvii. 12, 13, 18) We are in this case like fishermen's weels, wide at that end which lets in mercies; but narrow there, where we should let out our praises. Our mercies are like Gideon's dew on the ground, very copious; our praises like his dew on the fleece, very narrow and contracted. Mercies run into us, as Jordan into the Dead Sea, where they are all buried in oblivion. The Lord had saved Israel from sore bondage in Egypt, multiplied his judgements on their enemies, and his mercies unto them; had wrought wonders for them, and terrible things which they looked not for; and yet all these mercies, multitudes of mercies, wonders, manifold wonders (which, of all things, make the deepest impression upon memory) were all forgotten, and that quickly;
το Ωσπερ σκολιός ποῦς ὀρθῷ ὑποδήματι οὐκ ἐναρμόζεται, οὕτως οὐδὲ καρδίαις ἐκδιαστρόφοις ἡ αἴνησις τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπιπρέπει. Basil. in Psalm. 23. τους υποτρέχουσι χειμαζόμενοι· γενομένης δὲ εὐδίας, τίλλουσι καὶ λοιδοροῦσι. Plut. Apophth.